Author avatar

Born in Kerala, India, Ajayakumar graduated in economics from Kerala University and had his studies in creative painting from the faculty of Fine Arts, MS University of Baroda where he took post graduation (1978-1984).

He joined the College of Fine Arts Kerala, Trivandrum as lecturer in 1984 and has been heading the institution since 2001.

Participated in various group shows in the country and abroad since 1983 Ajayakumar and his solo exhibitions at the contemporary Art Gallery Ahmedabad (1984) Jehangir Art Gallery Mumbai, (1986 and 1990). Art Heritage, New Delhi (1992 and 1993).

From 1986 to 89 he has been doing research in the visual aspects of the ritual and performing arts of Kerala (under the guidance Prof. Gulam Mohammed sheikh) which helped him to conceptualize his paintings to culturally specific areas. Though an incomplete project research and documentation helped him to assimilate the radical streams of tradition, societies and multiple art practices of Kerala. His first mural executed in 1998 Kerala Kalamandalam completely with environmental materials could be a distinct experiment in contemporary art of Kerala.

A fusion of vernacular architecture and mural in low relief the Kalamandalam mural is an expression of ethnic materials, as like clay, laterate paste, Turmeric, paddy husk and coconut shell charcaol.

Later in 2006, Ajayakumar had completed a massive exterior mural painting ‘Archaeology of memories’ at Over the hill’ resorts designed by his architect friend TM Cyriac. A site specific installation called, ‘3 PM memories reconstructed’ is another project of 2005 at P Krishnapillai memorial Alleppy.

From 1991 to 2000 Ajayakumar has been contributing illustrations to India Today(Malayalam) for short stories. And later two novels of Sarah Joseph, which he considers as a collaborative work with the worker. As designer, he has been engaged as the art editor to the word plus (English) magazine and to the complete works of EMS Namboothiripad (100 volumes) a project in which eminent artist A Ramachandran as the art director.

Occasionally writes in English and Malayalam on contemporary art, Ajayakumar has also been associated with eminent film maker N. Karun for his Tele film on KG Subramaniyan called the ‘Moving focus – a journey with KG Subrahrnanyan’

In 2001 he had scripted the 35 mm documentary film on KCS Paniker — The rhythm of colours — directed by P.X. Sreenivasan. 

“Modern Indian Art — Sarah Abraham Collection” exhibition of the Manaveeyam Cultural Mission Kerala 2001, and Women Painters of Kerala’ 2007 of Kerala Lalita Kala Akademi are the major exhibitions curated by Ajayakumar.

Ajaykumar lives and works in Trivandrum, with his wife Sunanda and two children, Vishakan and Srilekshmi.

Paintings by Ajayakumar
Other Artists